Family Violence

Coordinator: Deputy District Attorney Leon Kousharian

One of the targeted prosecution programs involves the prosecution of family violence cases. All family violence cases are assigned to the Special Victim Unit, both at the felony and misdemeanor level. This team also has responsibility for the prosecution of all physical [non-sexual] child abuse and child neglect cases. Familial and non-familial physical elder abuse [or dependent adult] prosecutions are also prosecuted by this unit.

This is one of the largest prosecution teams in the office with five attorneys specially assigned to vertically prosecute all major stages of this demanding caseload. Almost all attorneys in the office will be rotated through this unit at some point in their career. To aid with family violence prosecutions there is targeted investigative resources and victim advocate resources provided the members of this team. This unit works closely with the Center for Domestic Peace, home of Marin Abused Women's Services, and other county government community based resources to support and counsel the victims of domestic violence.

All attorneys assigned to this unit have received specialized training in family violence cases. This unit coordinator is primarily tasked with reviewing and charging all incoming family violence cases. The unit coordinator has community responsibilities as well, including advising the District Attorney in developing relevant departmental and county policy around domestic violence issues. The unit coordinator represents the Marin District Attorney’s Office at weekly sessions of the Marin Integrated Family Violence Court, a specialized court designed to monitor defendants who have been convicted of family violence crimes. This attorney is also assigned to attend the Coordinated Community Response to Domestic Violence, a collaborative of many local resources and county family partners who have identified domestic violence as a high priority and come together to craft a unified community response to this critical issue. The unit coordinator is also tasked to meet regularly with local law enforcement agencies and other county and community partners, including The Center for Domestic Peace, to review domestic violence incidents of concern to the parties.

Members of this unit are made available for law enforcement training and have participated in recent training of all Marin County law enforcement officers in domestic violence investigations and prosecution. When needed for a community or school program members of this team are provided as their trial commitments permit. For more information, read the 2012 Uniform Marin County Law Enforcement Protocol for the Handling of Domestic Violence Cases [PDF] (endorsed by The Marin County Police Chiefs' Association On March 8, 2012.)